2017 Ford Escape Preview
By Christian Wardlaw, November 17, 2015
- Restyled inside and out, with six new wheel designs
- Two new turbocharged engine choices, each equipped with automatic engine start/stop
- Sync Connect smartphone app provides remote lock/unlock, remote engine starting, and a vehicle locator service
- Available adaptive cruise control with forward-collision warning and brake support, lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist, and drowsy driver detection systems
- Enhanced active park-assist system debuts, steering the SUV into parallel and perpendicular parking spaces while the driver operates the pedals and transmission. It also includes park-out assist.
- Sport Appearance package with dark-finish 19-in. wheels, dark headlamp bezels, darkened taillights, black exterior trim
- New paint colors, interior treatments, heated steering wheel option
- On sale in spring 2016
The current Ford Escape debuted for the 2013 model year. Now, after four years, it gets a cosmetic, mechanical, and technological update.
The new 2017 Ford Escape goes on sale in the spring of 2016, again offered in S, SE, and Titanium trim levels. It will compete against other compact crossover SUVs including the Chevrolet Equinox, GMC Terrain, Honda CR-V, Hyundai Tucson, Jeep Cherokee, Kia Sportage, Mazda CX-5, Mitsubishi Outlander, Nissan Rogue, Subaru Forester, Toyota RAV4, and Volkswagen Tiguan.
Restyled in the front and adopting the Ford brand corporate look, the 2017 Escape has a new hood, grille, bumper, and headlights with LED running lights. Six new wheel designs debut, ranging in size from 17 in. to 19 in. in diameter, and the refreshed Escape will be offered in new Canyon Ridge, White Gold, and Lightning Blue paint colors.
Around back, the Escape receives redesigned LED taillights and a new tailgate. A hands-free power tailgate continues as an option.
Inside, Ford has redesigned the Escape’s center console for improved storage space and cupholder accessibility, and has lengthened the center armrest for greater comfort. A push-button parking brake is standard, helping to free up extra space.
A new Sport Appearance package is available for the Escape SE and Titanium trim levels, featuring blacked-out trim, dark-finish wheels, and revised headlights and taillights for a sportier look.
The Escape Titanium will offer Charcoal Black or Medium Stone leather choices featuring a horizontal pattern that Ford calls “Salemo.” A heated steering wheel is a new option for the Escape.
Under the Hood
A 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine returns as standard equipment in the Escape S, making 168 horsepower and driving the front wheels through a 6-speed automatic transmission. If you want an all-wheel-drive (AWD) system, you will need to upgrade to the Escape SE or Titanium.
Both the SE and Titanium versions of the 2017 Escape are equipped with a new turbocharged, 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine that generates an estimated 180 horsepower and 185 lb.-ft. of torque. It comes with a 6-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters, as well as an automatic start/stop system that shuts the engine off when the Escape is idling in order to conserve fuel.
As an option, the SE and Titanium are available with a new turbocharged, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine. Like the standard turbocharged engine, this one has a 6-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters and automatic start/stop technology. It is estimated to generate 245 horsepower and 275 lb.-ft. of torque, and Ford says it will tow up to 3,500 lbs. of trailer.
Curve Control and Torque Vectoring Control systems return, helping the 2017 Escape to reduce understeer when the driver enters a corner too fast, and to sharpen handling characteristics, according to Ford.
Ford has changed the Escape’s front styling, but has not announced whether or not it made structural enhancements designed to help this crossover SUV improve crash protection.
Since the 2013 redesign, the Escape has rated “Poor” in the small overlap frontal-impact crash test conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Also, the Escape earns a 4-star frontal-impact rating from the federal government, instead of a highest-possible 5-star rating.
Automatic high-beam headlights and a blind-spot warning system with rear cross-traffic alert return for 2017. New safety systems include available adaptive cruise control with forward-collision warning and brake support, lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist, and drowsy driver detection systems.
Ford’s new Sync 3 infotainment system returns after its debut in the 2016 Escape. Equipped with smartphone-style graphics and capacitive-touch operation, Sync 3 boasts faster response time, conversational voice-recognition technology, and a simpler command structure compared with the MyFord Touch technology it replaces.
Sync 3 includes subscription-free Sync 911 Assist collision-notification service, Siri Eyes Free capability, AppLink technology, and the ability to receive software updates via the owner’s home Wi-Fi connection. A One Box Search function is designed to make finding things as easy as using a search engine, and Sync 3 supports Spotify, Pandora, Glympse, and more.
A Sync Connect smartphone app is new for 2017, allowing the owner to remotely start the Escape to heat or cool the interior, lock or unlock the doors remotely, and to find the SUV in a crowded parking lot. The app is free for the first 5 years of ownership.
An enhanced version of the Escape’s active park-assist system also debuts, now steering the Escape into perpendicular parking spaces as well as parallel spaces. Activate the system and it will find a suitable space and then autonomously steer into it while the driver operates the pedals and transmission. A new park-out function helps the driver to extract the Escape from tight spaces.